The need for possessions, predicting effective use of CBT, talking to strangers
Why do we have a strong desire to own things? Psychologist Professor Bruce Hood, author of a new book Possessed, and artist Hannah Scott, whose installation All this Stuff is Killing Me addresses our desire to acquire, discuss why we want more than we need and the extent to which we are controlled by our possessions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression but it only works for 45% of patients, so success is not guaranteed. Claudia hears from Filippo Queirazza of Glasgow University who's been using brain imaging techniques to predict an individual's likely success with the therapy. This could dramatically increase the odds of correct treatment for a patient.
Talking to strangers is something many feel anxious about or reluctant to do but could it be good for your state of mind? Social psychologist Gillian Sandstrom of Essex University discusses her latest research: seemingly inconsequential conversations with strangers can have a surprisingly beneficial effect on mood and well being.
Producer: Adrian Washbourne
Stress at work
Stress at work. Adam Kay, an ex junior doctor turned author and stand up performer, published the diary of his time of working in the NHS. It struck a chord and sold over a million copies in the UK. It's a story of working under duress, long hours and limited resources which many people can identify with and he delivered over 1200 babies in those circumstances. Gail Kinman is Professor of Occupational Health Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. Gail's worked with doctors, nurses, prison officers and social workers. Together with presenter Claudia Hammond and an audience they look at what stress is, how people burn out as well as how to spot the warning signs. What can individuals do to protect themselves and what are the responsibilities of the organisations they work for?
Preventing anxiety, CALMTown, Air pollution and psychosis
Claudia finds out about a new approach to childhood anxiety - an intervention for anxious parents to help them manage their own fears and how they impact their parenting. She meets parents on the course run by Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and talks to Professor Sam Cartwright-Hatton from Sussex University who explains what can be done to help prevent mums and dads transmit their own fears to their children. Pamela Qualter from Manchester University discusses new findings on what predicts mental well-being in children. After several suicides in St Ives in Cambridgeshire, residents decided to prioritise mental health and make it a place where people are encouraged to open up about their feelings in the pub, barbers and even at Pilates. Olivia Crellin reports. Also in the programme, research has found that people who live in areas of high air pollution experience more psychosis. But why and what might be the mechanism? Pamela Qualter discusses.
The science of meetings, Helping those with dementia sleep, Estimating body size
Claudia talks to Professor Steven Rogelberg about the science of meetings. Should we get rid of them altogether? Or what can we do to improve them? Also, how can we help those with dementia sleep better? Professor Susan McCurry and Dr Alpar Lazar discuss the latest research on sleep-regulation for people with dementia. And how good are we at estimating the size of our bodies? Claudia visits Birkbeck, University of London where Renata Sadibolova and Professor Matthew Longo conduct an experiment to see how good Claudia is at estimating her body size.
The psychology of motivation and procrastination
Claudia Hammond explores the psychology of motivation and procrastination with an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Is will power a good source of motivation? And why being a chronic procrastinator is bad for your health but there are ways to stop. Claudia is joined by guests, BBC presenter and Team GB triathlete, Louise Minchin, who talks about her route from journalist to representing team GB in triathlon World Championships. Fuschia Sirois from Sheffield University discusses procrastination, why we do it and how we can stop. Ian Taylor from Loughborough University discusses some of the best ways to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals.